Objectives Exposure to noise has been associated with cardiovascular disease, but the mechanism related to cardiac activity is unknown. This repeated-measure study aimed to investigate effects of occupational noise exposure on 24-hour ambulatory cardiac parameters among aviation industry workers.
Method We recruited 75 volunteers in an aircraft-manufacturing industrial cohort in 2009. Individual noise exposure and personal cardiac parameters, including left ventricular contractility (LVC) and stroke volume (SV), were measured simultaneously over 24 h on working and non-working days. Linear mixed-effects regressions were used to determine transient and sustained effects on ambulatory LVC and SV among high-exposure (≥ 80 A-weighted decibel [dBA]), low-exposure (< 80 dBA) and office workers by controlling for potential confounders.
Results Per 1-dBA increase was significantly associated with the transient effects of -1.50 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.166, -1.024) ml/beat in SV and -1.75 (-2.95, -1.03) L/sec in LVC at work on working day only among high-exposure workers. Such decreasing effects on SV (-1.18 [-2.86, -1.09] ml/beat) and LVC (-2.22, [-4.43, -1.11] L/sec) still persisted in the 30-min time-lagged occupational noise exposure. We also found that 1-dBA increment in 24-hour average noise exposure was significantly associated with a sustained decrease of -1.19 (-1.25, -1.13) ml/beat in SV on working day among high-exposure workers. No significant effects were found among other groups on working day and among all groups on non-working day.
Conclusions Occupational noise exposure may have acute effects on 24-hour ambulatory cardiac parameters among workers. Such effects may be associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.
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